UN Trade Forum 2021: Towards a Green and Inclusive Recovery

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a health and economic crisis of tragic proportions for lives and livelihoods everywhere that is jeopardising continued progress towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Protecting lives while moving forward with implementation for sustainable recovery has become the world’s priority.

Reigniting global trade is indispensable for the recovery from this crisis. Trade is a source of income, jobs and opportunities for women and men in developed and developing countries. The crisis has also highlighted the fundamental role of trade in allowing goods and services to move from where they are efficiently produced to where they are needed. The crisis has exposed the fault lines of our development path, notably one that depends on effective participation in just-in-time global supply chains. The crisis has also exacerbated the vulnerability and inequality present in our world.

Yet COVID-19 is not the only crisis we face. A climate and environmental emergency may compromise the progress we have achieved and the development prospects of future generations. Thus, recovery is not enough. It must be green and inclusive, and trade and trade policy play a critical role in this process. The United Nations Trade Forum will serve as a space for dialogue on how trade can be harnessed for a more prosperous, inclusive and sustainable world.

In the context of this year’s Forum, UNCTAD will also hold the seventeenth Raúl Prebisch Lecture. This prestigious Lecture is delivered periodically by a prominent thinker or Head of State, and while often tackles trade and development issues, also covers other topical global concerns. This iteration of the Lecture will be given by Nobel Laureate Esther Duflo, Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States of America). Ms Duflo was co-recipient of the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2019, with Abhijit Banerjee and Michael Kremer, “for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty”.


Registration should be completed online. Early registration is advised to allow timely approval. To do so, please use the following link: United Nations Trade Forum.

Communications concerning representation should be sent to the UNCTAD secretariat, Intergovernmental Support Service, Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland; email:

The forum is open to all member States of UNCTAD. Those wishing to attend the event are requested to provide the UNCTAD secretariat with the credentials of their representatives and the names of their alternative representatives and advisers by Monday, 7 June 2021. Specialized agencies and intergovernmental bodies wishing to participate in the meeting and non-governmental organizations in the general category and those in the special category who wish to participate as observers are requested to inform the UNCTAD secretariat of the names of their representatives by the same date.


A link to the formal virtual meeting will be sent to registered participants, at the email address used for registration, one day in advance of the start of the session. For all other enquiries, please contact: Graham Mott at, or Tamar van Straten at


CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit